DDB New York Reviews

Updated March 27, 2015
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2.7
117 Reviews
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DDB New York President and CEO Chuck Brymer
Chuck Brymer
44 Ratings

Pros
  • there are great people to work with (in 8 reviews)

  • Good opportunity for work/life balance (in 4 reviews)

Cons
  • Lots of enthusiasm but upper management needs to be more involved (in 10 reviews)

  • AWFUL office space (unless you're on the 5th floor) - very segmented and old-school (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Open to change

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Assistant Account Executive in New York, NY

    I worked at DDB New York

    Pros

    Great exposure to a corporate business environment with an emphasis on teamwork

    Cons

    Management routinely rejected feedback and ideas from younger hires, oftentimes citing that "this is the way its been done for years, so we can't just change it". Difficult to advance due to top-heavy account team structure.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Change is the only constant in life. If you don't evolve, you will be left behind.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. One of the worst places to work at---ever.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY

    I worked at DDB New York full-time

    Pros

    There is nothing positive about this place.

    Cons

    Upper Mgmt is a joke. Brymer and OBrien are incredibly fake yet arrogrant people. The NY office is a shambles. Its the worst, most toxic environment Ive ever been in. The offices themselves are a dump. The ex-CD was also arrogant. There is no investment in people, infrastructure, etc. Mgmt believes in hiring and promoting only empty suits who are just like them. The Tribal head is a another phoney with nice socks. Stay away, stay far far away!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get lost. Clean house.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 1 person found this helpful

    Toe-ing the wrong side of the line.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at DDB New York full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    About two years ago, things were looking up for DDB NY. Trade publications started to write about the office in a positive light, innovative work was being done (for real, not just for shows!), and there was solid creative leadership.

    The people at DDB are some of the nicest people out in the NYC ad world, most of them are truly open to getting to know who you are as a person and you end up spending personal time (willingly) with your co-workers.

    People also seem more relaxed at DDB than other agencies, even though the hours may get tough people seem to understand at the end of the day it is advertising--not brain surgery.

    Their vesting schedule is a little longer than other agencies, but their contributions to 401(k) are generous. When they actually happen.

    Cons

    Sadly Bernbach's legacy of hiring "smart but nice" people is starting to wane. Over the past three years there has been a significant decrease in the work quality DDB put out, and an increase in people pointing the fingers towards others to pass the blame.

    The NY office is frustratingly cheap. Not frugal, cheap. The wifi is spotty at best, bathrooms smell like sewers, and while the benefits are very high-quality they cost about double compared to similar plans other companies offer.

    Not to mention the compensation system is a joke, employees get a raise to market value if they 1) get a competitive offer, 2) leave and come back, or 3) threaten to leave. Raises may come, but they are usually delayed and rarely at market value.

    None of the above can happen as DDB hasn't won a sizable piece of business in quite some time, and they have unofficially lost one (and maybe a second) major account.

    Lastly, DDB doesn't invest in developing their talent. Incredibly senior creatives are sent to SXSW, but blow off all events or complain they went. Little incentive (other than a small tuition reimbursement) is provided for people to invest in development. However, the new CEO appears to be trying to offer all departments the platform to share and learn new information.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in your staff. It might sound superficial, but being paid market rate will make me less upset about working 15+ hour days.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5. Lack growth opportunities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Director in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Director in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at DDB New York full-time

    Pros

    -People are genuinely collaborative.
    -Very good creative, not well publicized but very good.
    -Great place for juniors to get started - low ego creative directors and account directors lead to a culture of nurturing talent, lots of opportunities to work on important projects from the get go.
    -Some of the nicest most strategic clients.
    -New president seems very competent, hopeful for positive change.
    -Good work life balance.

    Cons

    -Unclear vision: is it creative excellence or influence or bottom line profit? Each senior manager spouts a different objective - makes evolving difficult.
    -Unclear leadership: management should lead by example instead of telling staffers that they need to find the change within themselves. Show us, don't tell us.
    -Unclear plan forward: everyone agrees we need to evolve, but without a clear vision, leadership examples, nor concrete plan and tools to make it happen, there's little momentum.
    -Lots of talk about how everyone's a creative, but in practice the silos are strong.
    -No opportunity for growth. Requests for opportunities are deftly spun, attitude is that "good people leave", which leaves the corollary that the ones who stay must not be that good.
    -Mid to senior level managers are not empowered to make changes, while c-level managers are not willing.
    -Penny pinching mentality at senior management level leads to little to no budget for talent pipeline nor team rewards. No raises, no bonuses, and they've even taken away profit sharing in 401K.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Put out a clear vision statement, along with a plan for execution.
    -If the vision is about creative excellence, need to hire a chief creative officer.
    -Institute something that actually makes people feel that we believe everyone's creative.
    -Invest in talented people by giving them opportunities, challenges, and rewards.
    -Reach out to current clients and have an open and honest conversation to help reposition agency, change doesn't have to come only from new clients.
    -Don't pin all hopes on new biz - hard to win the kind of new business the agency needs without a change in thinking.
    -“If you keep your eye on the profit, you’re going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow.”― Steve Jobs

    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. Sunken Ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Intern - Creative in New York, NY
    Current Intern - Creative in New York, NY

    I have been working at DDB New York as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Free wifi and clean bathrooms.

    Cons

    All the REALLY good creatives left. Clients leaving. Management is meh.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Good luck — You'll need it.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. Great people

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Project Manager in New York, NY

    I have been working at DDB New York full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    People are great. I enjoy going to work.

    Cons

    Too much change. No compensation. Too much turnover.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. Could be great...but there's work to do

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Global Business Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Global Business Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at DDB New York full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Decent people, culture of "talented and nice". Some talented shiny pennies in the mix
    Bernbach creative equity - just been resting on them for too long
    New NY CEO Chris Brown - could do the trick but time will tell
    Not that bad or any worse than the majority of agencies out there who aren't having a glory moment. It's a tough business, period.

    Cons

    Disconnected executive management. Where's the passion for communications guys?
    Too much dead wood; the "nice" part has resulted in apathy and medicraty.
    Lack of new business wins has been a bummer
    Lack of best in class digital/social expertise
    No CCO right now and not a lot of creative passion
    Limited career trajectory and mentoring; need better rotation programs, training and development
    Someone please fix the rug!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. It used to be awesome.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at DDB New York full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    DDB LA used to be a great agency. While in Venice, the culture, the people, and the work produced were fantastic. The culture was one of fun and engagement. DDBers felt valued. The people were varied and interesting and engaging. They were dedicated to DDB and its leaders. The work was some of the best, with an Emmy to prove it.

    Then the leaders changed and everything else did, too.

    Cons

    The economic downturn of the late 2000s affected all agencies, and DDB LA was not immune.

    But years later when others were finding their footing again, DDB LA did not. It was a long, slow, sad decline.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  10. It was okay.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in New York, NY
    Former Employee - User Experience Designer in New York, NY

    I worked at DDB New York full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    It was pretty laid back most of the time, and I liked a bunch of people there.

    Cons

    Worst part: impossible to get raises or promotions, though, this is not unusual for agencies.

    Crunch times can get insane, and there are sometimes big breakdowns in communication.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There should be paths for upward mobility, and ways to get raises. Even just to compensate for inflation.

    No opinion of CEO
  11. Sinking Ship

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Art Director in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Art Director in New York, NY

    I have been working at DDB New York full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Have met some good people. Good name to work for. Benefits are pretty good. New CEO might make improvements.

    Cons

    No raises, even with promotions. No CCO for the last several months. High turnover in upper management. Lost some really great people this year. No mobility within company. AWFUL office space (unless you're on the 5th floor) - very segmented and old-school. No community/culture.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Give raises, get a CCO, stop letting great people leave, renovate the building, invest in your people.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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